In a statement released Tuesday, Netflix confirmed its decision to fire Andy Yeatman, an executive who told a woman accusing The Ranch star Danny Masterson of rape that the company did not believe her allegations. Yeatman was the director of global kids' content at Netflix. "Mr. Yeatman is no longer employed at Netflix," a spokesperson said.
Before The Ranch, Masterson was known for his character Hyde on That '70s Show. Netflix was criticized earlier this year for continuing its relationship with Masterson, who was also an executive producer on The Ranch, after a Los Angeles Police Department investigation came to light in March. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the LAPD investigated multiple sexual assault allegations against Masterson from the early 2000s.
The news of Yeatman’s firing follows a HuffPost piece from Dec. 4, where an anonymous Masterson accuser claimed she met Yeatman at a soccer game in Los Angeles and proceeded to ask him why Netflix hadn’t handled the accusations against Masterson. Yeatman reportedly told the accuser, referred to as “Victim B,” that “we don’t believe” the rape allegations. According to Yeatman, he did not know at the time that he was speaking to a Masterson accuser.
“Mr. Yeatman’s comments were careless, uninformed and do not represent the views of the company,” Netflix said after the Huffpost piece was published. “Further, he would have no insights into decision making on The Ranch. We are aware of the allegations against Danny Masterson and we are following the current investigation, and will respond if developments occur."
Netflix announced Dec. 5 that it fired Masterson and would be continuing with The Ranch in 2018 without him. “As a result of ongoing discussions, Netflix and the producers have written Danny Masterson out of The Ranch,” the streaming company announced.
Yeatman’s termination comes during a wave of firings from multiple media and entertainment outlets as sexual assault and harassment cases come forward following the exposing of Harvey Weinstein in October. Kevin Spacey was also fired from Netflix back in November after BuzzFeed broke a story about his predatory sexual misconduct.
Though Netflix fired Masterson, who denies the allegations, his case is currently stalled partly because of his connection to the Church of Scientology.